TERREBONNE, Ore. - The Oregon Department of Transportation is inching closer to firming up its plans for Highway 97 in Terrebonne.
The new changes for the plan will allow for easier access to the highway from Lower Bridge Way.
ODOT plans to build a roundabout for safer and easier access to Highway 97.
ODOT Region 4 spokesman Peter Murphy said over the last few months, ODOT received feedback people were not satisfied with the option they were presented to safely access the highway.
Now the department is prepared to move forward with this new refined roundabout.
"We came back out into the community to hear kind of in a one-on-one, or a couple on one session, to hear what folks have to say,'" Murphy said. "And so working with them, working with our consultant, working with our own engineers back at the shop, we were able to come up with a different concept we believe represents the best we have to offer at this point."
The plan still includes a couplet through the town, which splits the northbound and southbound traffic.
The plan also includes a drop in the speed limit through the area down to 25 mph, as well as adding safer crosswalks, bike lanes and landscaping.
A community meeting Tuesday evening saw mixed emotions surrounding the project.
Dana Bartus said, "I know that 'If you build it they will come,' and I don't think that forward progress always means building decisions that are going to completely alter the structure of what's in existence."
Many, like Kay Walters, expressed safety concerns and want to make sure that Terrebonne is preserved.
"I'm willing to let it you know see what happens," she said. "I mean, that's all you can do is just work with people, work with ODOT and see what happens, And try to also maintain the small community look of Terrebonne."
And while all the details of the plan have not been firmed up, the next step is to take the plans to Deschutes County for approval then the Oregon Transportation Commission.
A total of $20 million has been allotted for the project. According to ODOT, construction should start in January or February 2022.
If you would like more information on the project, click here.